Club Pop House - Beloit, WI - 1941-1973
Preserving the memory! (Copyright Joe J. Accardi, 2005-2013)

October 2022
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Hernandez Brothers
Filed under: General
Posted by: Joe @ 12:16 pm

About a month ago, Mike Matheson and I met with Dave Hernandez. We were joined by Dave’s brother Jim and the four of us spent the better part of a day reminiscing about the 60’s/70’s southern Wisconsin music scene. All fine musicians, Dave, Jim and Mike were deeply involved with music during that time.  Later that evening, Dave took us to a bar in Beloit where we saw Lance Massey (formerly of the Beau Gentry) performing with a pickup band.  A good time was had by all.

I’ve already mentioned one band that Dave formed, the Chevelles, in a previous post with some information provided by band member Tom Chekouras. While still in high school, the Chevelles performed at the Pop House in 1965-66.  One of Jim’s bands around 1966-67, the Marauders, was a Beloit favorite and I remember hearing them many times when my own band (No Left Turns) wasn’t performing somewhere.  Here are just a few more of the bands that featured one or both of the Hernandez brothers.

In 1967 Dave’s band, the Denims, performed all around the Stateline area.  In addition to the Pop House, two popular music venues at that time were the “Record Bandstand” dances held at the Rock and Walworth County fairgrounds located in Janesville and in Elkhorn.  I’ve seen a schedule from 1967 that shows the Denims played in Elkhorn on October 21, the same night the Esquires were performing in Janesville.  (No Left Turns played in Janesville the following weekend.).  Admission was usually $1.25 and some dances featured light shows by Flower Power & Light Company.  Denims drummer, Jeff Grob, went on to play with a band called Looking Glass who recorded the hit song, “Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl).”

The Denims
Standing: Jeff Grob, Dave Hernandez, Bob Duncan
Front: Mike Costerison, Bob Slawson
(Poster courtesy of Dave Hernandez)

A band that was an outgrowth of the Marauders, the Village Gate featured both Dave and Jim.  While they may not have played the Pop House, the Village Gate could be heard at dances around the area during 1968.

The Village Gate 1968
The Village Gate
L-to-R: Jim Hernandez, Bob Van Oss, Dave Hernandez, Ron Kinsey, Victor “Chico” Johnson
(Photo courtesy of Dave Hernandez)

In 1973, not too long before George closed the Pop House, Dave had a band called Tramp that performed there.  Dave told me that Tramp also opened a show one night for the Mob at the Waverly Ballroom.

L-to-R: Steve Marks, Matt Goodwin, Bob Slawson, Dave Hernandez
(Photo courtesy of Dave Hernandez)

By the end of 1973, Dave and Jim had teamed up again in a four-piece group with a recognizable name… The Hernandez Brothers Band.

Standing: Jim Gregus, Jim Hernandez
Front: Victor “Chico” Johnson, Dave Hernandez
(Photo courtesy of Dave Hernandez)

Many thanks to Dave and Jim for providing these memories.  Don’t forget to let me hear your stories about the Pop House.


6 Responses to “Hernandez Brothers”

  1. Bill Moran Says:
    Great Stuff. I remember Tramp from HS. I am trying to get you a poster of Louisiana Fog. Band from 72′that played at the Pophouse. Mike Atkinson, Steve Marx, Jeff Potts, Jim Kirpatrick, etc. Stay tuned.
  2. Tom Chekouras Says:
    Joe, Chevelles - Dave’s Band? Not hardly. I was the leader of The Chevelles from the time I signed on with the group, which included all music arrangement and working with Ken A. to secure bookings. Prior to my joining, Jim Hills was the leader of the band. Just to set things straight… Tom
  3. Tom Chekouras Says:
    …no offense Dave.
  4. James Gregus Says:
    I was the drummer in Hernandez Brothers Band. I’m now playing with Johnny Rawls based out of Milwaukee,Wi. I did manage to play again with Chico Johnson the bass player in a band called Revern Raven And The Chain Smoking Alter Boys. Now that’s a long enough name for you. Chico is not playing any more. I remember taking this picture. James Gregus still doing it at 60 years old…WOW
  5. James Gregus Says:
    I for got to say something about my friend Bill Meeker. Bill and I started playing drums at Roosevelt Jr High school standing next to each other. Did you know he was playing with Steve Miller on the week ends back when now body knew Steve Miller. I think he might have been the first or one of the first drummers for Steve Miller. Bill would tell me he played this solo or that solo it that band. Bill and I went to Chicago to buy my first set of drums at Franks Drum Shop. We went down on the Greyhound bus together. I still have those Rogers drums and they still look good….James
  6. Joe Says:
    Thanks for your comments James. Great stories!